Tag Archives: Boston

Smokin’ Hot Surgeons Calling the Kettle Black


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To start today’s post, I have an interesting story to share:  I was staffing for an event at the Hynes Convention Center this past weekend.  The event was catered to the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (in English, heart surgery).  My role at the event was line monitor, which was to monitor the pre-registration line to make sure things were running smoothly.

Once the line quieted down, I got to take a 15-minute break.  With my CBD vaporizer at hand, I went for a stroll outside.  What I saw outside was absolutely baffling to me.  I went out the doors to see members of the event…smoking cigarettes.

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Seriously guys…I was watching PROFESSIONAL heart surgeons smoking cigarettes outside of the Hynes Convention Center.  Some members smoked typical cigarettes while others smoked a cigar.  I couldn’t believe my eyes when I witnessed surgeons having a smoke before heading back to their class.

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Image result for Nurse Smoking Cigarette

Think about this for a minute:  these are licensed surgeons that work fixing the human heart to prevent it from stopping.  They were admitted into medical school for over TEN years studying everything they needed to know about heart surgery.  Ten years of studying, labs, homework, papers, and other school work and yet some of them smoke cigarettes during their break.  Cigarettes are the #1 cause of many heart problems in America and there are actually heart surgeons who smoke.  This observation was absolutely MIND-BLOWING to witness.  How do we have heart surgeons smoking cigarettes?  What happened?

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What happened?  AMERICA happened!  But in all seriousness, this is an interesting topic to discuss.  Employees in the medical field always caution us about smoking cigarettes every year.  Doctors and nurses ask us things like how much alcohol we drink, how much cigarettes do we smoke, do we smoke cannabis (if so, how much), and if we consume any other drugs.  Our doctors can only inform us about what’s causing the problem (there WERE doctors that advertised cigarettes on television, but that’s for another discussion!).

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In a surprising study, less than a quarter of doctors smoke cigarettes while nurses smoke twice as much.  While these numbers aren’t so high, it’s still alarming to hear of medical professionals smoking cigarettes during their break time.  The irony around this is that doctors/nurses advise us against smoking cigarettes, yet there are some that smoke during their free time.

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If we want to better understand this strange phenomenon, let’s shift gears from cigarettes to the obesity crisis.  Over two-thirds of Americans are considered overweight and about a quarter of people are obese.  Doctors and nurses always advise us to exercise on a daily basis as well as eating healthy food each week.  In a surprising twist, some of these doctors/nurses are overweight themselves (FYI, there are MORE overweight nurses than doctors!).  So not only do we have medical professionals smoking cigarettes, but now there’s some that are overweight or obese!

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Public Relations deals with the reputation of a company or businesses.  Medical professionals have a serious moral/ethics code to abide by and keeping a clean record is a serious deal.  One misstep and they could jeopardize their entire careers to the point where they lose their medical license.  Are cigarette smoking and weight issues part of the moral and ethics code that doctors/nurses abide by?  If not, then those destructive behaviors should definitely be added into the list.

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I’m not saying that every doctor needs to look like McSteamy or McDreamy from Grey’s Anatomy (although that would be a perfect world to live in!), but they should consider what kind of example they are setting for their patients.  Patients will learn through EXAMPLES set by doctors or nurses that tell them how they can lose weight or what steps to take on quitting cigarettes.  If I were an overweight/obese patient coming in for a physical check-up, I wouldn’t be motivated to lose weight if my doctor or nurse wasn’t physically healthy.  How can doctors/patients expect us to be healthy if they can’t take care of themselves?

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Here’s another analogy to consider:  police cops are always advising us against drunk driving or doing drugs in this country.  They come into grammar schools to teach kids the dangers of drugs (cocaine, meth, alcohol, heroin, etc) and how they destroy your life.  It would be EXTREMELY unprofessional if those cops were to snort some blow or inject heroin after the lessons.  Kids aren’t going to listen to you once they catch you with that joint or needle you were about to use.  Doctors/nurses who smoke that advise us against smoking is the same as cops doing drugs while telling people to not do coke or smoke crystal methamphetamine.

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One last thing to consider with this ironic tale:  what if the problem was us?  What if the overall health in America has gone so downhill that medical professionals have turned to smoking to combat the stress of treating their patients?  Could the stress of so many unhealthy patients have created a snowball effect where doctors/nurses have given up on teaching us how to stay healthy?  Have we lowered the bar so far down that doctors have to smoke a pack (or two) of cigarettes to get through the day?  Is this what American healthcare has come to?  If doctors/nurses can’t set the right example for living a healthy lifestyle, than who can?

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As a human being, I have very little health problems I deal with.  I eat right each week and I exercise every now and then (when I’m not at the gym, I am walking around Boston or doing some cardio exercise).  While I don’t smoke cigarettes myself, I do consume cannabis as well as vape CBD oil on a daily basis.  My doctor isn’t overweight/obese and I’m unsure if he smokes cigarettes during his free time.  I wouldn’t consider myself overweight (although I could lose some of that belly fat!), but I am well aware of many health problems going on in America.

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With that, hearing about doctors/nurses smoking cigarettes sends an eerie message to us patients.  If the rate of medical professionals consuming cigarettes or are overweight is increasing, then we really need to do a double-take on America’s healthcare system.  We don’t need to force every doctor to look like something out of General Hospital, but they should consider what kind of message they are sending to us.  An overweight doctor won’t motivate me to cut back on the pizzas and fried calamari if that’s all he eats every week.

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And as far as people’s health goes, maybe we need to stop our bitching and do the hard work necessary to live a longer life.  You and ONLY you can take the steps necessary to be healthier.  No doctor/nurse will provide you with some magic pill that will make you become just like them.  They follow the same diet/exercise routine just like everyone else.  Here are some tips if you want to look like McSteamy/McDreamy:  cut back on smoking cigarettes, exercise daily, and eat healthier every day.

MakeSandcastlesNotWar visits the New England Cannabis Convention!


It’s been days since 4/20, yet the cannabis celebration continues around Boston.  This year was Boston’s first 4/20 celebration after passing Question 4, the measure to legalize recreational cannabis use in Massachusetts.  Hundreds of cannabis consumers flocked to the Boston Commons (a.k.a. the most popular spot in Boston to consume cannabis) on April 20th to light up on this special day.  Passing Question 4 sent shockwaves for the state of Massachusetts, opening up a unique industry that was already booming in the West Coast.

With Question 4 passing last year, what kind of businesses will we see around Massachusetts?  What kind of cannabis culture will we see here in Boston?  Could Boston’s cannabis culture be different than the culture seen in Colorado or California?

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To get a sense of how the cannabis culture fits into the city of Boston, I took a trip to the New England Cannabis Convention.  This event was located at the Hynes Convention Center on Boylston Street in Boston; now in its 3rd year, it is the biggest convention dedicated to companies/organizations doing business for the cannabis industry.  A wide variety of businesses met with consumers to discuss what kind of work they conduct on a daily basis.  From growing supplies to consulting, every type of product or service was featured in one building.

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After scoping out the convention for the past few days, I found some inspirational companies looking to make it big here in Boston.  Some businesses had a unique take on the cannabis culture while others stood out for their interesting product that would make the cannabis experience much better.  Here were some notable moments I had to share about my experience at the New England Cannabis Convention:

Vendors

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Charlotte’s Web:  For the first vendor, I went to check out Charlotte’s Web.  Charlotte’s Web is the name for a high-CBD strain that was created by The Stanley Brothers.  The Stanley Brothers’ created the strain specifically for a young epileptic patient named Charlotte.  Charlotte is a young girl who uses CBD medicine to treat her ongoing seizures due to epilepsy.  Since using the CBD oil, Charlotte has experienced much less seizures than she did before.  This brand of CBD can be used as oil or capsules, depending on what works best for you.

CannaKorp:  My next stop was to CannaKorp, known for being the world’s first pod-based cannabis vaporizing system.  CannaKorp is manufactured in Stoneham and currently a patent-pending vaporizer that allows people to indulge with cannabis through efficient vapor.  You can choose from a variety of indica, sativa, hybrid, and CBD strains to vape with.  Each pod contains pre-ground cannabis flower that is sealed to lock in the flavor, freshness, and aroma for an amazing experience.

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AngryBuds:  When I passed by Angry Buds, I immediately thought of the game Angry Birds that was released more than 7 years ago.  Ironically enough, the company is releasing the game Angry Buds that is similar to Angry Birds (except that it’s with buds rather than birds!).  Other than the interesting Angry Birds reference, Angry Buds sells a wide range of products for a greater smoking experience.  Such products include grinders, vaporizers, papers, bud stuffers, containers, and other accessories.  The Angry Buds game won’t be released anytime soon and hopefully we will hear more of the game’s release sometime this year.

Kushley:  Kushley features organic products that eliminate the cannabis odor from the room.  Just a few sprays of the product and you can keep your room smoke-free.  Cannabis may be recreationally legal here in Boston, but not everyone is looking to join the Boston Pot Party!  Whether it is a conservative friend that doesn’t like the smell or keeping the odor away from kids, Kushley is available for any kind of situation.

Lifted:  Located in Santa Monica, Lifted looks to help businesses create mobile apps for the iOS, Android, or the web.  With cannabis prohibition slowly becoming a thing of the past, building a strong brand with a passionate following is crucial for cannabis companies.  Having a strong brand is critical for surviving the business world and Lifted looks to build up a long-lasting brand that consumers will remember.  This was a unique company that worked on cannabis brands rather than the actual product itself.

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Maine Green Scene:  Even though Massachusetts legalized recreational use last year, Maine has already been paving the way for the cannabis industry. Maine Green Scene is a business showcasing a directory of the cannabis culture in Maine.  From dispensaries to medical doctors, Maine Green Scene provides all the information you need to snag the best cannabis products.  Legal dispensaries won’t be opening their doors until early 2018, but you can still find a handful of medical products within the state.

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ProVerde Laboratories:  ProVerde Laboratories is one of a few medical cannabis testing labs here in Massachusetts.  It’s the company where science, technology, and cannabis all meld together under one business.  Testing for cannabis includes tests for THC, CBD, CBN, CBC, terpene profiles, and other data about the product.  This was a great company to check out because testing labs are so important in revealing what’s inside your cannabis flower or edible that you are consuming.

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Skunk Magazine/Linzy Heartwork:  While wandering through the last lap of the exhibit hall, I noticed the name ‘Shona Banda’ on the cover of the book Live Free or Die.  It took me a minute to realize that Shona was featured on Viceland’s show Weediquette last year.  Shona was interviewed for the episode titled ‘Stoned Parents’ where Shona discussed how her kid was taken away because he mentioned the term ‘cannabis’ while in school.  I was excited to talk with Shona Banda about her experience with cannabis and how she is paving for the fight against prohibition here in America.  It’s figures like Shona Banda that help push the fight for recreational cannabis use all across the country.

Miscellaneous

Other than the vendors, I walked through an art gallery that featured some infamous art work surrounding the cannabis culture.  Some featured pictures of the cannabis/hemp plant itself while other works revolved around the history of cannabis prohibition.  Here were some notable pictures I found within the art gallery:

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You heard it from the man himself, George Washington!

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‘The New Billion-Dollar Crop’: A headline that would’ve revolutionized the hemp industry had it been released in the 1930s.

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The man, the myth, the Harvard Professor himself – Dr. Lester Grinspoon!

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America’s most famous stoner duo…Cheech and Chong!

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A Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 – the stamp needed to grow cannabis/hemp, yet none were given out.

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Samuel R. Caldwell – America’s first victim of cannabis prohibition who was incarcerated in 1937.

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Famous ‘Reefer Madness’ posters that initiated the PR nightmare that destroyed cannabis’s reputation for decades!

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Harry Anslinger and Richard Nixon – two different political figures with the same goal to eradicate cannabis in the country.

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That was my infamous journey around the New England Cannabis Convention.  I had an amazing time meeting with people from different companies/organizations and learning about what they have to offer for the cannabis industry.  Recreational dispensaries haven’t opened up yet, but business will be BOOMING in Boston by summer 2018.  It has been a long road up until Question 4 passed, but all of our hard work will pay off once the cannabis culture is in full bloom.

Best Boston-themed Cannabis Strains


 

With all of the excitement happening over 4/20, I forgot to mention that yesterday was the Boston Marathon.  Held every year in April, the Boston Marathon is an event where people compete in a huge race.  Runners from all across the country gather together to compete in this annual race each year.  Whether you are competing against other runners or wanting to become a part of the event, the Boston Marathon is a race for everyone.

The Boston Marathon is one of many great things that make Boston an amazing city to live in.  This historic city was home to some of the most notorious events that happened during the Revolutionary War (Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere’s Ride, Boston Massacre to name a few).  It’s been over 300 years since these violent events occurred and some of the historic buildings are still open to this day.

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With question 4 being passed in the state of Massachusetts, Boston is now one of the new U.S. cities working to bring in the cannabis industry.  There’s already a handful of medical dispensaries open around the city and plans for recreational dispensaries will be ready by next year (July 2018, to be precise).  Now that the cannabis community is spreading more within New England, it’ll be interesting to see what the Boston cannabis culture will look like.

What kind of strains will we see inside Boston’s new recreational dispensaries?  Would there be popular strains from the West Coast flying over to the East Coast?  Are there enough popular strains in New England that will provide enough variety for customers to choose from?  Could growers produce strains that were influenced by Boston’s culture?

To discuss some of these ideas, MakeSandcastlesNotWar decided to list a few cannabis strains that would fit perfectly within the Boston community.  After scrolling through each cannabis strain, a handful of strains have been selected based their resemblance towards Beantown.  Here are the top strains that reminds you of the great city of Boston:

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Green Monster:  Opening day for the Red Sox was two weeks ago and Wally the Green Monster is back at it!  It’s only fitting that we start this list off with Green Monster.  Green Monster is a sativa-dominant hybrid strain that provides a nice cerebral high when smoked.  This strain will keep you happy and relaxed during the day.  The strain has a woody and earthy scent, giving off a nice flavor when used.  Consume some Green Monster before catching a game Fenway Park and be sure to find Wally around (as well has his sister Tessie!).

Golden Goat:  While we’re on the subject of New England sports, we have to get into the Patriots.  Every football team may have their secret weapon, but our ringer is Tom Brady a.k.a The GOAT (Greatest of All Time!).  Consuming Golden Goat won’t make you the next Tom Brady, but it’ll definitely get you uplifted for game day.  Golden Goat is another sativa-dominant hybrid strain that will keep you happy and euphoric for the day.  This strain is perfect for relieving the stress and depression some patients feel (how can you feel depression when you got the GOAT back for game day, kid?).  If Tom Brady ever considers getting into the cannabis community, Golden Goat would certainly suit him well!

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Dr. Grinspoon:  Most cannabis connoisseurs would know of Dr. Lester Grinspoon, the legendary scientist that corrected misinformed science about cannabis in the 1970s.  Dr. Lester Grinspoon conducted his work at Harvard (cause all of our college students are wicked smaht in Boston, especially Hah-vard University!).  This sativa strain provides creative and happy effects after consumption, which is great for fighting depression or stress.  Dr. Grinspoon has a spicy, citrus flavor within each nug.  Wicked smaht college students in Boston should pick up Dr. Grinspoon for those long nights of studying (especially those at Hah-vard University!).

Jillybean:  A common nickname for Boston is ‘Beantown’, so it’s only fitting that Jillybean makes the list (Jillybean, Beantown…yeah, you get the idea).  Jillybean is an indica-dominant hybrid strain that is known for being a happy and upbeat hybrid.  The strain is most popular for creative minds and social butterflies searching for imaginative euphoria during the day.  Anyone residing around Beantown should consume some Jillybean for some daytime fun!

Moose and Lobsta:  Boston is known for having amazing seafood dishes around the city.  Oysters, clam chowder (chowdah!), and even lobster (lobstah!) rolls can easily be found.  Moose and Lobsta would be the perfect strain when chowing down on a lobster roll.  This sativa-dominant hybrid provides a pungent odor of tropical fruit and skunk.  Consuming this strain will leave you uplifted and happy during the day, making it the go-to strain to ease pain and depression.  While there are no moose roaming around Boston, there are plenty of lobster rolls to go around!

Boston’s First Cannabis Career Fair


When I’m not interning or writing posts for MakeSandcastlesNotWar, I am busy searching for full-time position within my field of communications.  I am one of the many 20-somethings struggling to get life together now that I’m done with school.  This ‘Real World’ that I’m in now hasn’t always been easy, but I have been having some fun along the way.  Last night’s adventure to the Cannabis Career Fair was one of those exciting times.

The Cannabis Career Fair, held in District Hall of Boston, was a career fair showcasing potential work within the cannabis industry.  Various cannabis companies across Massachusetts met with job seekers who were searching for work.  From cultivators to marketers, many positions were opening up for job seekers.  Since I’ve been writing about cannabis since legalization made waves on December 2016, I figured I would get in on the action.

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You see that handsome bastard above?  That’s ME, the one and only creator of MakeSandcastlesNotWar!  All that writing gold you read each day comes from me.  I already cranked out a blogpost earlier today about Canadian Healthcare companies covering medical cannabis, so I figured I’d get my name out there in the cannabis industry.

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I was one of many cannabis enthusiasts searching for my dream career within the cannabis industry.  Writing about cannabis each week has been a blast and I would LOVE to do this as professional work.  From Laganja Estranja to Cannabis Chemistry 101, it has been a pleasure covering the range of topics.  There’s always something happening within the cannabis community and I work diligently to cover every aspect of the story.  Keep your eyes peeled on this blog, because the fun is JUST getting started!

Attending the Cannabis Career Fair was amazing!  I had a great time meeting with the employers and hearing about what positions they had available.  It may be a while for the cannabis industry to really flourish, but I look forward to seeing it make waves around Boston.

For those that want to check out the video, the link can be found here

New England Patriots Parade 2017


On February 5th, 2017, the New England Patriots won the 51st Super Bowl.  It was a close game by the end of the 4th quarter as the Patriots were coming back from a rough 1st half.  By the end of the 4th quarter, the Patriots and Falcons were tied up in the end, leading to the first overtime game ever in Super Bowl history.  Both teams were tied 28-28 when they went into overtime and the stake were higher than ever.  In less than 4 minutes, James White dived into the end zone for the final 6 points.  TOUCHDOWN!!!


It was one of the most amazing comebacks in Super Bowl history.  The Patriots were down by 28 points, only to rake in the last 6 points while they were in overtime.  Even when they were down and out, the Patriots pushed harder than ever to grab their 5th Super Bowl win.

So how did New England celebrate their triumphant victory on Sunday?  By holding a parade, of course!  Mayor Marty Walsh announced that the Patriots Parade would take place in Boston on February 7th, just mere hours after their victory.  Since I was free on Tuesday, I had the golden opportunity to become a part of an incredible and victorious celebration.

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The streets of Boston ran red, white and blue as the Patriot fanatics entered the city.  Hundreds of people cut school (and work!) to become a part of the celebration here in Boston.  Even the snowy, cold weather wasn’t going to stop New Englanders from attending the parade!

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Their route started at Boylston street and would end at City Hall Plaza.  The parade itself would begin at 11:00, but the floats didn’t actually start moving until 45 minutes later.  Regardless of the late start, fans cheered on the Pats as they were heading their way.

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With my body shivering out in the cold, I stood within the barriers in City Hall Plaza with my friend Andrew to witness the amazing celebration (shout-out to my friend Andrew Carr for attending this awesome event with me!).  Colorful confetti shot from cannons, scattering around the streets as fans cheered on for their favorite football team.  Even though the weather was crappy, the overall atmosphere brightened up with positivity around the city.  Patriot fans from all walks of life were here to celebrate their 5th Super Bowl win.

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All of the hard-working Patriot players and staff danced around their floats as they passed through different areas of Boston.  Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Jimmy Garoppolo, LeGarrette Blount, Stephen Gostkowski, and other players celebrated their 5th world Championship (Bill Belichick even got in on the party as well!).  Our hard-working players deserved to party, especially after that incredible comeback near the end of the 4th quarter!

This was such an incredible event to be a part of!  Thousands of fans cheered every minute as their favorite players partied down the streets of Boston.  I have seen more positive vibes around Boston today than I ever have this past month.  So many people cheered and high-fived me as I wandered around City Hall Plaza.  Even those that were working near the parade got in on the fun as well!

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With all of the commotion happening around the streets, I realized that it was so much more than about the Patriots winning their Super Bowl.  Seeing Patriot fans come together on a cold and snowy day really showed what Boston is all about.  Boston is a city that embraces the underdogs, cheering on those that work harder than ever to get to where they are now.  This is a city where people work diligently to prove how worthy they are to society.

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If we find something that doesn’t fit right with our city culture, then we work our asses off to fix the situation!  Boston is actually one of the most liberally-progressive cities in the United States.  With Massachusetts being the first state to legalize gay marriage in 2004, it’s no wonder that Boston is one of the most liberal cities in New England.  And with that note, I have to point out again that cannabis was made legal in Massachusetts BEFORE California during the elections!

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Even when facing such uncertainty and anxiety in the world, Bostonians don’t back down from a challenge.  Just like the Patriots winning the 51st Super Bowl, Bostonians fight each day to solve their personal dilemmas from all aspects of life.  It’s times like this where we realize that we can overcome any obstacles that stand in our way.  Nothing will ever get in the way of our personal ambitions that we strive for in this city.

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And with that, I must give a special thanks to the New England Patriots: thank you Patriots for showing the world what Boston is all about.  A special thanks to all Patriot players for playing as hard as they could to clinch their 5th Super Bowl win in the nation.  I have to also thank Tom Brady, the true GOAT that helped lead an incredible team to another Super Bowl victory.  Thank you for claiming another win, helping us walk even taller in this complex world.